Known across the world for Thoroughbred horse racing and its wealth of mineral waters that made it the ideal setting for America’s first resort, Saratoga Springs is an excellent place to visit all year long. Nestled at the foothills of the Adirondacks, just south of Lake George and just north of the state capital of Albany, Saratoga Springs offers top-notch lodging, dining, and cultural attractions all with a backdrop that may remind you of a Norman Rockwell painting. It can only be described as a beautiful destination. 

Updated 5/29/24


1 pm: Giddy Up at the Saratoga Race Course 

Saratoga Race Course

Experience the thrill of thundering hooves as the finest Thoroughbreds in the world compete at the Saratoga Race Course. Saratoga began racing horses in 1863, and the course retains a charm and old-world elegance. Much more than a horse racing venue, an afternoon at the course means being a part of a festival atmosphere that includes great local food, live music, and people-watching opportunities galore as the locals come out in their best outfits—the competition for the fanciest hat is almost as contested as the race itself. If you’re traveling during the off season, you can still take backstretch tours to view the historic grounds that served as a film set for the Hollywood movie Seabiscuit.

5 pm: Stroll Along Historic Broadway

Saratoga Springs
Credit: @saratoga_ny on Instagram

Take a stroll down Broadway, Saratoga’s award-winning Great American Main Street, and peek inside the windows of a number of locally owned stores that contribute to the street’s charm. Have dinner at 15 Church, an upscale restaurant known for its fresh seafood and steak, or Wheatfields, with almost 20 different shapes and flavors of pasta made daily. Saratoga has more restaurants per capita than NYC, so there is a cuisine to suit every taste.

9 pm: Settle in at Saratoga Arms

Exterior of Saratoga Arms Hotel at night in Saratoga Springs, New York

Walk to Saratoga Arms, a unique historic inn, for some interesting conversation and an after-dinner drink on a porch overlooking Broadway. This family-owned and operated gem offers modern amenities in a classic setting and—with its five-star TripAdvisor rating—it’s a great choice for a home base for this itinerary.


9 am: Explore Congress Park

Congress Park
Credit: @timothy_ferris on Instagram

Threaded with Grecian pavilions, Italian gardens, groves of trees surrounding mineral springs, and even a carousel, a walk through Congress Park is a walk through time. After exploring the grounds, head to the Country Corner Café on Church Street for a deliciously simple breakfast. While you’re there, grab a bottle of sparkling Saratoga water bottled from the springs nearby.

10 am: Lounge at the Lake

A person using a stand up paddle board on the lake.
Credit: @openairsportsny on Instagram

Head to Saratoga Lake where you can stay dry and catch some rays on Brown’s Beach or cool off and go for a swim. If you’re up for a different aquatic adventure, float on over to the Kayak Shak and rent a kayak or paddleboard.

12 pm: Finger Lickin' Chicken at Hattie's

A dish with fried chicken stacked on it from Hattie's

Hattie's Restaurant has a storied past dating back to 1938. Known for its fried chicken, this cherished and cozy venue once won the Food Network's Fried Chicken Throwdown with Bobby Flay. Its original time-tested recipes for sides such as collard greens and macaroni and cheese add to the appeal. It's mainly a dinner joint but serves a popular brunch on weekends as well.

1 pm: Museum Round-up

Saratoga Automobile Museum

After lunch, visit one of these unique museums depending on your interests:

Saratoga Automobile Museum: Come here to see some of the greatest cars from around the world, nestled in Saratoga Spa State Park in a repurposed bottling plant.

The National Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame: Interested in the history of horse racing? Experience a life-size starting gate with all the sounds and pre-race whinnies of the horses as they load and break and watch a movie about the majesty of Thoroughbreds.

7 pm: Rock On on the SPAC Lawn

SPAC Concert - Photo Courtesy of Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce

For nearly 60 years, Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) has hosted the world's greatest artists and musicians in its treasured amphitheater. Find the music line-up here and discover SPAC's diverse group of visiting artists from Dave Matthews Band to John Legend.


9 am: Find Common Ground at Uncommon Grounds

Credit: @worldsbestbagel on Instagram

Drop by and leisurely enjoy coffee and bagel while you people-watch from the patio of Uncommon Grounds, a locally owned store that serves all kinds of wonderful noshes and morning potables.

10 am: Soak in Serenity at Roosevelt Baths

Roosevelt Baths at Saratoga State Park
Credit: Beautiful Destinations

A massage and bath at Roosevelt Baths in Saratoga Spa State Park is a must-do on this trip. Make reservations at least two weeks in advance to get a prime Sunday appointment. You’ll be glad you did as you slip into the mineral waters drawn from the ground and your cares bubble away with the natural effervescence. 

12 pm: Tour the Historic Gideon Putnam Hotel

Gideon Putnam Hotel in Saratoga Spa State Park, Saratoga Springs, Saratoga County, Capital-Saratoga Region

Named for one of the founders of Saratoga Springs, the Gideon Putnam Hotel offers a lavish brunch spread in a series of four picturesque dining rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Saratoga Spa State Park. Make reservations two weeks in advance for this, too.

2 pm: Get on the Green at Saratoga National Golf Course

Saratoga National Golf Course

Hit the links at the Saratoga National Golf Course and take in a lovely view of 18 holes and an exquisite landscape.


By car:
From NYC: 3 hours, 30 minutes
From Boston: 3 hours, 30 minutes
From Philadelphia: 4 hours, 25 minutes
From Montreal: 3 hours

Closest airport: Albany International Airport, 33-minute drive

By train: Amtrak to Saratoga Springs Train Station.

By bus: Trailways Bus to Saratoga Bus Station.

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